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Second Away Win For Ireland Women

Second Away Win For Ireland Women

Centres Lynne Cantwell and Geraldine Rea scored three tries between them and full-back Niamh Briggs also touched down as the Ireland Women got the better of their Scottish counterparts at Lasswade RFC.

The girls in green claimed their second away win in this year's Championship, bouncing back from that two-point defeat to France a fortnight ago.

Emer McManamly and Heather O'Brien were promoted to the starting line-up, lining out in the front row and second row respectively.

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The vastly-experienced Lynne Cantwell helped Ireland get off to a confident start in sunny but windy conditions. Scrum half Amy Davis snaffled turnover ball and Cantwell shrugged off Charlotte Veale's attempted tackle to race in from the right for an unconverted try in the sixth minute.

Cantwell threatened again, running wide again but this time Scottish winger Katy Green was able to tackle her into touch.

Scotland managed to hit back shortly afterwards with a five-pointer from winger Lauren Harris, and the sides remained level at 5-5 for half-time.

Fiona Coghlan, Gillian Bourke and Joy Neville helped the Irish force the issue up front, but Scotland tightened up their defence before the break, forcing a couple of crucial turnovers at the breakdown.

Both sides did well on set piece ball, but Ireland succeeded in finding an extra gear in attack when play resumed in the second half.

Philip Doyle's side used their territorial advantage to pin the hosts back and after a series of drives from the forwards, a lovely long pass from Neville sent bustling centre Rea over in the left corner.

The Highfield clubwoman, known as the 'Germinator', had to spend some time in the sin-bin then as she was carded for not rolling away at a ruck.

It did not deter the visitors as they continue to set the pace, with half-backs Nora Stapleton and Davis using the ball intelligently and linking well between the backs and forwards.

Full-back Niamh Briggs relished the chance to come up into the attacking line and she added some cushion to the Irish lead with a well-taken 66th minute try – her second in as many games.

Briggs also stepped up to add the extras to Cantwell's second of the afternoon, which saw her take a lovely line as she dashed in under the posts.

It was an excellent move off a scrum on the left as Neville, Davis and Stapleton combined before Neville popped a short pass for Cantwell to cruise through and outpace the Scottish cover.

Cantwell was a very deserving winner of the player of the match award after playing a crucial role in Ireland's sixth successive victory over Scotland at this level.

With their second win in three games, Doyle's charges remain third in the Six Nations table behind France and defending champions England.

Their remaining fixtures see them away to Wales in two weeks' time before they wrap things up with a mouth-watering clash with England at Ashbourne RFC on Friday, March 18 (kick-off 7.30pm).

Referee: Claire Daniels (England)